ZAGREB, Croatia - This week, sixty Dahon distributors and suppliers gathered from all over the world for the 4th Annual Dahon International Distributors Conference (DIDC), held in Zagreb, Croatia. Participants heard forward-looking plans as well as changes in Dahon’s global management board. One of the major announcements made during the week was that all future Dahon bikes for the European market will be made directly in Europe.
There was a buoyant mood at the summit meeting of Dahon’s worldwide distribution partners which Bike Europe joined. The leader in folding bikes discussed with its distributors topics including marketing and business issues, production and logistics, supplier-distributor interaction, as well as future sales strategies. The preview of the company’s 2012 product range, to be officially launched at Eurobike, was a further highlight of the event. A marketing strategy aimed at building on Dahon’s leading market position was also announced.
Dahon moves all European production to Bulgaria
As part of a significant supply chain overhaul, beginning in 2012 all Dahon brand bikes destined for Europe will be made in Bulgaria. In a strategic partnership with Maxcom Ltd., the company is setting up a full-scale production base at one of the most modern facilities on the continent. All of the bikes for the European market will be made at the ISO 9001:2008-certified facility in Plovdiv, which specializes in the manufacturing of bicycles and features state-of-the-art machining technology and modern quality inspection equipment.
This factory will include a dedicated production area, bespoke assembly lines, and have dedicated, on-site personnel working in the critical functional areas necessary to maintain consistency in production and ensure all schedules are met.
Outside Europe, Dahon will continue production at its main factory in Shenzhen, China, and has plans in place for a completely new factory in central China, with an initial production capacity of 700,000 bike units per year. Another facility, near Beijing, produces Dahon bikes for the Chinese market, a market that continues to grow strongly for the US-based company.
Additions to Global Management Board
Concurrent with Dahon’s operational advancements are two key additions to its global management board. The first is that Henry Hon, original co-founder of Dahon, joined the board. He is on the right side of the photo on this page, standing next to the other Dahon founder and CEO Dr. David Hon.
Henry Hon actively rejoined the group as Vice President following the departure of Joshua Hon earlier this year. “Josh’s departure left a void, but it was something he felt he had to do and we wish him well,” Henry Hon is already involved in day-to-day management and the overseeing of US operations.
The second addition to Dahon’s global management board is Eddie Eccleston, an industry stalwart. Eccleston has taken on the role of Global Sales and Marketing Director for the Dahon Group.
Upgraded marketing program
Dahon furthermore revealed its 2012 marketing strategy, which builds on reinforcing the brand’s positioning as a technology-rich brand with a broad product portfolio. As part of a shift to further enhance the focus on the brand’s emotional appeal, the company presented a fresh multi-channel marketing approach, communicating the brand’s emotional values in a more personal way.
In the future distributors and resellers will enjoy stronger support through Dahon’s trade marketing partner program. The strategy combines global and localized initiatives in an effort to achieve a more engaging brand experience at retail. More on this will be revealed by Dahon at Eurobike next September.